Looks from London: Nina Lee Bloomsbury Blouse

I picked up a souvenir from a recent trip to London at the New Craft House Holiday Party, where indie designer, Nina Lee, had a stand with some of her patterns. The Bloomsbury, a high-neck ruffle blouse with back button closure, is the sort of style I’m always looking for, so I decided to give it a try.


I had no trouble thinking of what fabric to use for it–this navy polka dot poly crepe brings home that 1980s does 1880s touch. That said, I think this blouse can look great in so many fabric options.

Since this was my first time using this brand of patterns, I made a muslin. And, I saw it needed quite a bit of work to get a fit I wanted. Before even jumping to to the muslin, I lowered the bust darts, added a bit for a broad back, and I blended the sleeve with one from my Named Helmi pattern.

After making these original fit adjustments, I saw there were still had some proportion/design problems:


Due to excess fabric in the front yoke, the ruffle hung too far off the shoulder which bothered the flow of the blouse. I was fussy about getting this part to reflect my tastes because with all these frills, it is hit or miss for the final look. I removed a wedge from the shoulder seam to the bottom of the front yoke, in order to pinch out about an 1in/3cm from the front shoulder. I also made a corresponding adjustment to the back shoulder seam yoke…but I don’t remember which technique I used to do so!

The end product is, for me, a real hit. The style I wanted is there, and this blouse is a great addition to my handmade closet. But, I think the pattern could have benefited from some more attention to the drafting process, especially in the front yoke area and the sleeve. Plus, a little pain with the finished product is that my center back button pops open when I reach to far forward. Thankfully, I’ve got a sneaky pin to fix that!

2 thoughts on “Looks from London: Nina Lee Bloomsbury Blouse

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